Saturday, 31 July, 2021


Edwin Poots: Fallout from DUP leader's resignation continues

Edwin Poots and Mary Lou McDonald N.Ireland parties agree on new First Minister, staving off fresh crisis
Melba Vasquez | 19 June, 2021, 02:40

Edwin Poots was a controversial pick for the position of DUP leader: the creationist, who believes the earth is 6,000 years old, narrowly beat Sir Jeffrey Donaldson to the position, and reports suggest Mr Donaldson is now the favourite to take over as DUP leader.

Following late night discussions there was agreement between the North's two main political parties with Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill to be nominated as Deputy First Minister, and Paul Givan to be confirmed as the new First Minister.

Edwin Poots has resigned as leader of the DUP after just 21 days in office, following what has been described as an "internal party revolt".

Edwin Poots and Paul Givan arrive at Government Buildings in Dublin, Ireland June 3, 2021.

An October election would have been on the cards had a First Minister and Deputy First Minister not been nominated, but this scenario has now been averted.

Both the Sinn Féin and DUP leaderships then nominated candidates, despite a significant majority of DUP members in the assembly wanting to delay the process.

Mr Lewis flew into Belfast earlier in the day for talks with local politicians, saying he was exploring "all options" in efforts to keep power-sharing on track.

DUP group leader on Derry City & Strabane District Council, Hilary McClintock, explained that people will have to put their name forward and the party will make a decision on it. Although he didn't immediately address the media, a statement was later released where Poots stated that he will remain in his post until a new leader has been elected. At the close of the meeting, Poots was spotted leaving but did not offer comment.

"This has been a hard period for the party and the country and I have conveyed to the chairman my determination to do everything I can to ensure both unionism and Northern Ireland is able to move forward to a stronger place".

Perhaps the most reassuring part of all this is that if you think you aren't very good at your job or are lacking in confidence, then at least you can say you lasted longer than a leader of a political party in the UK.

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